Scratchbury Camp Hillfort, Wiltshire

Large, univallate, contour hillfort located on the Upper Chalk at the S edge of the Salisbury Plain Chalk Massif with extensive views overlooking the lower Wylye Valley to the S.

Defences cut off the site from rest of the chalk spur, similar to that at Battlesbury (Atlas No 0386) located 1km to the NE, separated only by Middle Hill. In MOD Salisbury Plain Training Area.

Very steep on W and SW sides. Steep on N and NE with level to moderate sloping to SE above steep-sided combe cutting into hillside on E. Interior area 17ha. Defined by single bank with external ditch, best preserved on W where rampart stands to height of c. 6m above ditch bottom and c. 15m wide at base. Ditch c. 5m-8m wide and up to 1m deep.

Elsewhere, hillfort defined by bank 3m-6m in height above ditch bottom, the ditch being c. 4m-6m wide and up to 0.5m deep. On E side ditch absent and replaced by ledge c. 3m-8m wide. Crest of rampart undulating, mirrored in the ditch, possibly suggesting gang working. Quarry scoop behind rampart and many circular and curvilinear depressions possibly structures.

Three main entrances in E, SE and NW, all probably original. SE, and simplest, single gap of c. 20m between rampart and ditch terminals, E and NW off-set at 7m and 15m gap respectively. Several small depressions by NW entrance possibly hut sites. D-shaped enclosure in the centre hillfort previously interpreted as Neolithic causewayed enclosure due to interrupted nature and the discovery of jade and flint axes.

Excavations by W.F. Grimes subsequently shown this to be Iron Age, with Iron Age pottery in the primary fill, and interruptions probably result of post medieval ploughing, with only one well-defined lynchet visible. Much of N and W of interior densely settled and c.100 probable structures identified, surviving mainly as circular hollows c. 5m-10m diameter up to 0.6m deep. Six round barrows on hill (one at highest point) and in 1804 Roman bronze spoon found. Roman pottery also recorded by Colt Hoare (1812). Downland pasture. Good condition. On Ist Ed. OS map (1887).

Data from the Atlas of Hillforts, used under Creative Commons license 4.0.



OS map reference: ST 911 442. Nearest town/village: Warminster.

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